Florida Keys

Rosamaria Gonzalez / USDA

A low-tech method is saving a threatened species of bird from getting sucked into jet engines at the Naval Air Station Key West airfield on Boca Chica Key.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A new program that allows students to provide information anonymously to school officials by text message will be used throughout the Monroe County school system in the fall.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Monroe County has an offer for those who want to return home right away after a hurricane: Take a 32-hour training course and get a special pass that will get you back in the first days after a storm, before the general public.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There are three hospitals in the Florida Keys — and one of them was critically wounded by Hurricane Irma. Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon has been operating as a field hospital since the storm. Now the hospital’s nonprofit owner is seeking some help from Middle Keys taxpayers to keep it going.

At Mote Marine Lab's Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration in the Florida Keys, Joey Mandara is like a baby sitter. But instead of children he tends to thousands of baby corals, growing in large, shallow tanks called raceways.

Mote has been doing this work for five years, raising corals from embryos into adult colonies, then planting them on Florida's reefs. Now, the emergence of a new, debilitating coral disease makes his work more important than ever.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There’s been a lot of interest and attention on national politics since the 2016 presidential election. But in the Florida Keys, politics has always served as a form of entertainment.

Creative Commons

As the rainy season returns — along with the disease-carrying mosquitoes that reproduce in standing water — the public is getting another chance to comment on one proposed method for fighting mosquitoes.

The Florida Keys have had a crisis in affordable housing for decades — and it got worse after Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott now has a new proposal to add rental units for workers and get around the island chain's strict growth limits.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

The forecasters got Hurricane Irma mostly right. At least compared to the predictions of past storms. That’s one of the conclusions from a National Hurricane Center report on the big storm that hit Florida last September.

Monroe County Fire-Rescue

A brushfire has burned about 100 acres and destroyed one home on Big Pine Key — an island that saw some of the worst devastation from Hurricane Irma.

Jack Fishman

Sofas, refrigerators, pipes and lobster traps all wound up littering the Keys reef and backcountry flats after Hurricane Irma blew through in September.

Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary wants to deploy volunteer divers to remove the debris.

Aide To Gov. Rick Scott Dies In Florida Keys Boat Crash

Apr 9, 2018
Miami Herald file

An aide to Gov. Rick Scott died Sunday night after the boat on which she was a passenger crashed into mangrove branches lining a narrow channel in Islamorada.

Zack Ransom / Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Divers from a Key Largo environmental group and a Miami science museum removed an orangespine unicornfish from a reef off the Upper Keys this week.

The underwater rapid response team was put together to prevent another exotic species like lionfish from getting a finhold in South Florida waters. Unicornfish are popular in the saltwater aquarium trade, and are native to the tropical Pacific.

County officials in the Florida Keys are looking to get federal money to reimburse them for expenses related to Hurricane Irma. Monroe County officials traveled to Washington DC last week to meet with FEMA officials.

The county has submitted about $16 million in expenses for reimbursement.

So far, FEMA has approved about $3.9 million. Now the county is waiting for the state's Department of Emergency Management to sign off.

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